Midwest Center for Structural Genomics
The Midwest Center for Structural Genomics (MCSG) is a consortium of the Argonne National Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute, Northwestern University, University of Toronto, Washington University, University College London, University of Virginia and the University of Texas and a part of the NIH-funded the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI). The primary objective of the MCSG is to rapidly determine the structures of strategically selected and bio-medically important targets including proteins from pathogens and higher eukaryotes. The MCSG goal is to elucidate protein folding space and ultimately provide structural coverage of major protein families with sufficient granularity to allow 3D homology modeling of all proteins using only computational methods. This will provide the foundation for 21st century structural biology when structures of virtually all proteins will be found in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) or derived by computational methods.
The MCSG develops, implements, and refines rapid, highly integrated, and cost-effective methods for structure determination by x-ray crystallography and Structural Biology Center beamlines at the Advanced Photon Source. In the PSI pilot phase, the MCSG established a structure determination platform that included: (1) classifying all available genomic sequences to establish a prioritized target set, (2) cloning, and expressing genes and gene fragments of microbial and eukaryotic origin, (3) purifying and crystallizing native and derivatized protein for x-ray crystallography, (4) collecting data and determining structures, and (5) analyzing structures for fold and function assignment, and homology modeling of related proteins. The platform provides for rapid model validation and deposition in the protein data bank. MCSG developed methods and results are available to the scientific community.